My Swedish Career

‘In Sweden, everyone follows the system’

'In Sweden, everyone follows the system'
Photo: Private
Prashant Jain, 29, moved to Sweden to work at an asset management company. He tells The Local how working in investments gives you a global outlook, and how Swedes don't buck the system.


Originally from India, Jain moved to Stockholm in 2012 for a job as Assistant Portfolio Manager, specializing in investments.

Jain says his day-to-day tasks involve researching different markets and advising clients on the best markets worldwide to put their money into. 

Another aspect of Jain’s work involves looking at so-called 'big data' and research to find out public sentiments towards different markets.

“Right now, we are seeing the impact of the Paris attacks on France’s stock market. People get scared and it affects investments. The same thing happened in Turkey last year due to the unstable political situation – no one invested in Turkey so everyone sold off their stocks. 

And it’s not just political events that affect finance. Jain tells us: “During the last World Cup, when Brazil lost there was a negative sentiment towards them. Lots of people said that if they had won, it would have boosted the Brazilian financial market.”

Photo: Private

“Working in investment gives you an outlook onto the whole world,” explains Jain. “It helps you understand the world around you and what’s going on. Everything has an impact on the financial market – and vice versa.”

Having a job at a global firm in Stockholm has also opened Jain's eyes to cultural differences in how people do business. He notes that in Sweden, people in his field are often less open to trying out new technologies in finance and are more sceptical about taking risks.

“Clients are a bit more laid back compared to the US or the UK. In finance they are less likely to take risks here, they are happy with what they have,” he says.

A preference for security also has an impact on the financial career ladder in Sweden. “For example, if you want to be a Portfolio Manager here you need ten or more years’ experience,” says Jain. “In the US you could be a 19-year-old, they spot talent, but in Sweden everyone follows the system.

“If I had to sum up the financial world in Sweden, it would be stability and security. In American culture there is a huge potential to make it big very quickly, but you can also fall down. Here, if you know the system, you don’t have to worry about things. It’s less stressful and that’s why people are so much happier.”

Photo: Private

Although job stability is more likely in Sweden, Jain also comments that the finance market is much smaller compared to Asia, the UK or the US. He tells us: “Here, it all depends on how you perform. There is no space for making mistakes – it’s challenging, but fun if you love your job. I was always very focused and it’s a good opportunity if it’s what you really want to do.”

Alongside his day job, Jain has also found time to work on entrepreneurial projects, for example his recent launch of Bollywood films in Sweden, inspired by his interest in Indian film and his contacts in the Bollywood industry.

Even when talking about this personal project, Jain's language shows his financial background. “I saw that there was a market for international films, and limited supply in Sweden,” he explains. “So far, the response has been tremendous, and I hope that it will help with integration.”

“It was a good opportunity to step out from my day job, do something to feel happy and give back to the community by bringing people together,” he told The Local.

Of course, balancing entrepreneurship alongside a demanding job in finance is hectic, but Jain is pleased with the decision he has made: “It’s very stressful and hectic, but if you have high ambitions you have to do a lot of work. Overall, I am very happy I chose to come to Sweden.”